0429-21 NY Times Crossword 29 Apr 21, Thursday

Constructed by: Adam Wagner
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Extra Long Puzzle

Themed answers string together to make a HAIKU … sort of.

  • 17A First line of a three-line poem : IT WOULD BE A SHAME …
  • 30A With 36- and 43-Across, second line of the poem : … IF MY …
  • 36A See 30-Across : … HAIKU WERE …
  • 43A See 30-Across : … TO BE …
  • 56A Final line of the poem : … ONE SYLLABLE TOO … LONG
  • 47D Extended the duration of : PROLONGED

Bill’s time: 27m 51s!

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Vancouver Canucks’ mascot Fin, for one : ORCA

The Canucks are Vancouver’s professional hockey team, a franchise that joined the National Hockey League in 1970 as an expansion team. “Canuck” is a slang term for “Canadian”.

20 What Yellowstone’s Old Faithful does about 17 times a day : SPOUTS

Old Faithful is a geyser in Yellowstone National Park. It erupts almost every 63 minutes on the nose, making it one of the most predictable geographic features on the planet. It was this predictability that led to the name “Old Faithful”. In the early days of Yellowstone’s existence as a park, the geyser was used as a laundry. Dirty linen clothing was placed in the geyser’s crater during the quiet period. The clothing was ejected during the eruption, thoroughly washed.

22 Erector Set piece : ROD

Oh how I loved my Erector Set as a kid. The version we used growing up was referred to as a Meccano set, as “Meccano” was the brand name used for the toy sold as “Mechanics Made Easy”. The original Erector Set was developed by inventor Alfred Carlton Gilbert, and first produced in 1913. Back then it was sold as “The Erector/Structural Steel and Electro-Mechanical Builder”.

23 “Heart of Darkness” character who cries “The horror! The horror!” : KURTZ

“Heart of Darkness” is an 1899 novella by Joseph Conrad in which the narrator journeys up the Congo River in search of an agent who is the most successful supplier of ivory. The basic storyline for the novella inspired the 1979 movie “Apocalypse Now”.

26 1st to 228th, in Manhattan: Abbr. : STS

The famous grid layout of Manhattan’s streets and avenues was the result of the Commissioner’s Plan of 1811. The plan only applied to streets above Houston Street as almost all of the development in lower Manhattan had taken place organically, as the original colony of New Amsterdam grew. One notable exception from the 1811 plan was New York’s magnificent Central Park, which was not envisioned until the 1850s.

31 Pepper between jalapeño and cayenne on the Scoville heat scale : SERRANO

The serrano chili pepper is native to the mountainous regions of the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo. The name “serrano” comes from the Spanish “sierra” meaning “mountain”.

The Scoville scale is a measure of the spiciness of chili peppers. The scale was invented by a pharmacist in 1912, Wilbur Scoville. To determine the position of a pepper on Scoville scale, the amount of capsaicin in the chili is measured. Capsaicin is an irritant that causes the sensation of burning when it comes into contact with tissue, particularly mucous membranes.

34 John ___, husband of Pocahontas : ROLFE

John Rolfe was one of the early English settlers in America. He is perhaps best remembered for marrying the Native American Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan. For a few months before her death, Pocahontas lived with Rolfe in England. The couple had actually boarded a ship to return them to Virginia when Pocahontas became ill and had to be brought ashore on the south coast of England, where she soon passed away.

36 See 30-Across : … HAIKU WERE …

A haiku is a very elegant form of Japanese verse. When writing a haiku in English we tend to impose the rule that the verse must contain 17 syllables. This restriction comes from the rule in Japanese that the verse must contain 17 sound units called “moras”, but moras and syllables aren’t the same thing. Sadly, the difference is not so clear to me. Here’s an example of a Haiku:

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don’t make sense
Refrigerator

44 David ___, boss on the British version of “The Office” : BRENT

The excellent sitcom “The Office” is set in a branch of a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. If you haven’t seen the original UK version starring Ricky Gervais, I do recommend you check it out. Having said that, the US cast took the show to a whole new level. Great television …

48 ___ Victory, world’s oldest naval ship still in commission : HMS

Admiral Horatio Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar was HMS Victory. The battle was a decisive win for the British during the Napoleonic Wars, fought against the combined fleets of France and Spain. Nelson was fatally wounded by a marksman from one of the French ships but as he was conscious he continued to monitor the battle, dying three hours after he was shot. Nelson was much revered by his crew, who felt that his body had to be returned to England. The body was placed in a barrel full of brandy, and the barrel lashed to the mainmast of the Victory and placed under guard. The damaged flagship was towed to Gibraltar where the body was transferred to a lead-lined coffin, and the brandy replaced by aqua vitae, spirits of wine. While the body continued its journey home, dispatches reporting the outcome of the battle were carried to England on a ship called … HMS Pickle!

49 ___ Paulo : SAO

São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. It is also the city with the highest number of helicopters in the world. This is partly driven by the horrendous traffic jams in São Paulo, but also by the wealthy having a very real fear of being kidnapped on the city’s streets.

53 Sacha Baron Cohen character : ALI G

Sacha Baron Cohen is a comedian and comic actor from England. Baron Cohen is perhaps most famous for playing the characters Borat and Ali G on the small and large screens. I’m wasn’t a fan, but I must admit that I really enjoyed 2020’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”.

55 Wet weather wear : PONCHO

A poncho is a typical South American outer garment that has been used by Native American peoples since pre-Hispanic times. One of the iconic uses of a poncho was by Clint Eastwood in spaghetti westerns.

60 Real first name of singer Lorde : ELLA

“Lorde” is a stage name of the singer-songwriter Ella Yelich-O’Connor from New Zealand. Lorde’s cover version of the great Tears for Fears song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was used in the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013). Her song “Yellow Flicker Beat” is included in the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”.

61 Writer ___ Stanley Gardner : ERLE

I must have read all of the “Perry Mason” books when I was in college. I think they kept me sane when I was facing the pressure of exams. Author Erle Stanley Gardner was himself a lawyer, although he didn’t get into the profession the easy way. Gardner went to law school, but got himself suspended after a month. So, he became a self-taught attorney and opened his own law office in Merced, California. Understandably perhaps, Gardner gave up the law once his novels became successful.

64 Harmonica piece : REED

The harmonica is a reed instrument. It contains a number of reeds that are usually made from metal, and are all arranged on a reed plate.

Down

5 Real head-turners : OWLS

Generally speaking, a bird’s eyes are fixed in their sockets, so a bird couldn’t “roll its eyes”, even if it wanted to. As a result, birds have evolved to easily and frequently rotate their necks so they can see what is going on around them. The owl is quite remarkable in that it can rotate its neck about 270 degrees in both directions.

7 “Fast Money” channel : CNBC

CNBC is a business news channel owned by NBC. Launched in 1989, CNBC was known as the Consumer News and Business Channel up until 1991.

10 Wood in Louisville Sluggers : ASH

Louisville Slugger is a brand of baseball bat manufactured by the Hillerich & Bradsby Company in Louisville, Kentucky. The famous bat is made of Northern White Ash grown on the New York/Pennsylvania border. These ash forests used by the company are threatened by the emerald ash borer which is moving closer and closer every year. There are already plans in place to replace the traditional wood used in the bat as the assumption is that the source of ash will succumb to infestation.

11 Remove quickly, as a Band-Aid : TEAR OFF

“Band-Aid” is a brand name owned by Johnson & Johnson, although like many popular brands “band-aid” has become the generic term for an adhesive bandage, at least here in North America. The generic term we use in Britain and Ireland for the same product is “plaster” …

18 Potato chip brand : UTZ

Utz is the largest privately-held producer of snack foods in the US. The company was founded in 1921 and is based in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

29 Jeweler’s magnifying glass : LOUPE

A loupe is a small magnifying lens that is held in the hand. “Loupe” is the French name for such a device.

32 “Seven Seas of ___” (Queen’s first radio hit) : RHYE

Queen is an English rock band that formed back in 1970. With the help of lead singer Freddie Mercury (now deceased), Queen has a long list of great hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”. “Bohemian Rhapsody” spent a total of nine weeks at number one in the UK. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is also the title of an outstanding 2018 biographical film about the band.

33 Addison ___, high-earning TikTok personality : RAE

TikTok is a video-sharing service that is based in China, and is very popular with the younger set. The TikTok mobile app provides tools that facilitate production of sophisticated selfie videos that use special effects.

41 Fig. on a college application : AP SCORE

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

58 Racial justice movement since 2013, for short : BLM

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement started in 2013 after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of African-American youth Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Three civil rights activists, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, originated the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Response to a knock at the door, perhaps : WOOF!
5 Vancouver Canucks’ mascot Fin, for one : ORCA
9 Pet peeves? : BATHS
14 Chuck : HURL
15 Totally improvise : WING
16 Deplete : USE UP
17 First line of a three-line poem : IT WOULD BE A SHAME …
20 What Yellowstone’s Old Faithful does about 17 times a day : SPOUTS
21 Deal (with) : COPE
22 Erector Set piece : ROD
23 “Heart of Darkness” character who cries “The horror! The horror!” : KURTZ
24 In 2020, they outsold CDs for the first time since 1986 : LPS
25 Globe : ORB
26 1st to 228th, in Manhattan: Abbr. : STS
27 ___ Solis, Obama-era secretary of labor : HILDA
30 With 36- and 43-Across, second line of the poem : … IF MY …
31 Pepper between jalapeño and cayenne on the Scoville heat scale : SERRANO
34 John ___, husband of Pocahontas : ROLFE
36 See 30-Across : … HAIKU WERE …
38 Less forward : COYER
40 Sticky stuff that drips down the side of a cone? : PINE SAP
43 See 30-Across : … TO BE …
44 David ___, boss on the British version of “The Office” : BRENT
46 Apple or orange seed : PIP
48 ___ Victory, world’s oldest naval ship still in commission : HMS
49 ___ Paulo : SAO
50 Less naïve : WISER
52 Suggestion, colloquially : REC
53 Sacha Baron Cohen character : ALI G
55 Wet weather wear : PONCHO
56 Final line of the poem : … ONE SYLLABLE TOO LONG
59 Year-end reward : BONUS
60 Real first name of singer Lorde : ELLA
61 Writer ___ Stanley Gardner : ERLE
62 “Yesssss!” : SWEET!
63 “Nooooo!” : DAMN!
64 Harmonica piece : REED

Down

1 Removes quickly, with “away” : WHISKS …
2 Yields : OUTPUTS
3 “… not to mention everything else that could go wrong!” : … OR WORSE
4 Scoff at : FLOUT
5 Real head-turners : OWLS
6 Free from, with “of” : RID …
7 “Fast Money” channel : CNBC
8 Like hallowed traditions : AGE OLD
9 Certain ways to work : BUSES
10 Wood in Louisville Sluggers : ASH
11 Remove quickly, as a Band-Aid : TEAR OFF
12 “Just go with it” : HUMOR ME
13 Zoomed past : SPED BY
18 Potato chip brand : UTZ
19 Seeming : APPARENT
27 Kitty litter? : HAIRBALL
28 Finalize, as a deal : INK
29 Jeweler’s magnifying glass : LOUPE
30 A group of them is called un archipel : ILES
32 “Seven Seas of ___” (Queen’s first radio hit) : RHYE
33 Addison ___, high-earning TikTok personality : RAE
35 Mined matter : ORE
37 The 1, in 1-0 : WIN
38 “Be reasonable, will you!” : COME NOW!
39 Like an over-the-top display of wealth : OBSCENE
41 Fig. on a college application : AP SCORE
42 Big stupid mouth : PIE HOLE
43 Beats : THROBS
45 Shook up : ROILED
47 Extended the duration of : PROLONGED
49 Speak, as thou might : SAYST
50 Hardship : WOE
51 Bury : INTER
54 Big do : GALA
55 Strategy : PLAN
57 Not just accept a wrong, say : SUE
58 Racial justice movement since 2013, for short : BLM

9 thoughts on “0429-21 NY Times Crossword 29 Apr 21, Thursday”

  1. 36:59 after finally caving and using Google to look up “RHYE” (something totally unfamiliar to me). Early on, I had used “ICE” instead of “INK” and I had never heard of Addison “RAE” (whatever happened to “ISSA”, anyway? … 🤪), so I guessed “ADIEU” instead of “HAIKU”. I actually thought of “SERRANO”, but I didn’t see how it fit in with my string of mistakes. And, of course, all this happened at a time when I was busy with an insane tar baby that I probably shouldn’t have let myself touch (but, having started, wanted to get back to), so I was seriously distracted. (Murphy at work in my life again!)

    (Once I got over the abject shame of resorting to Google, I was very amused and I appreciated the theme … 😜.)

  2. 48:48 With a couple lookups. The whole left third was my nemesis, especially the NW corner. After getting LONG I kept looking for another rebus. Took a while to realize that 43A preceded 36A in the sequence. Then in the NW corner I kept wanting ERUPTS vs SPOUTS, TOSS vs HURL, SCORN or SNORT vs FLOUT, etc. For 2D I wanted RESULTS or NETxxxx. Just could not reset my thinking and work out that corner.
    Unfamiliar with KURTZ, but now see the connection with the movie Apocalypse Now and Colonel Kurtz.

    Years ago I wrote several climbing haikus. To wit, one about breaking trail in the snow up a steep slope:

    Kicking endless steps
    At last I attain the crest
    Damn you false summit!!

    I even have a 63A answer in my haiku – SWEET!

    Kudos to @Tom R for his quick solve for what I consider a difficult puzzle

  3. Also, fun ancillary fact, back when I was starting graduate school in the late 90s, there was a lab at the institution where I was training that had just discovered the capsaicin receptor–i.e., the protein on neuronal membranes that recognizes the chemical and is thereby responsible for initiating the burning sensation. The cover of image of the journal showed a bunch of hot peppers. Super-important finding for the basic understanding of pain.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/39807?mod=article_inline

  4. My first NYT puzzle. A free copy of the paper came to our door this morning. I thought it was a lot harder than the Latimes and WSJ puzzles. I try to never use Google when solving but had to today. In general, I don’t find puzzles with poems to be too much fun.
    Ron F: I liked your haiku.

    1. Thanks. I have several more climbing haikus.

      This was a tough one to get your NYT start on. The puzzles are progressive, as you probably know, but this seemed fairly hard for a Thurs. Even @Bill, had a relatively long solve time.

  5. 30:35. Tough one today as I can see by (almost) everyone’s time. My main problem area was the NW for some reason. Even with a new puppy, I totally missed WOOF. Needed a few “hints” to complete this one.

  6. 11:12:02 With lots of time for blank stares while prepping for a …ahem…procedure…. Are you sure it’s not Saturday? 🙂

  7. 30:48. Definitely a tough solve. I had the same cheat as Nonny – RHYE. The most Thursday-like part of this puzzle – the rebus LONG – was actually pretty easy. Some very tough cluing today.

    I’m a big fan of SERRANO peppers. I usually ask for them in Mexican restaurants, and most of the time they have them even though SERRANOs may not be on the menu. Just a hint in case your Mexican meal can use a little kick…

    Best –

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